When/If the country or city you live in hits the headlines in one way or another, as mentioned in Viv's Reading activities worksheet, the language teacher should seize the opportunity to exhance potential student interest in the subject in the news by using video clips in class. Youtube is an excellent source of this type of material.
When President Obama came to Rio in March 2011, he gave a speech to the Brazilian people in the Municipal Theatre. Due to the length of the speech, Viv decided only to use the first part of the speech in class. If students wanted to see part two, he showed them how to reach it using their home internet connection.
Obama's Speech in Rio activity
Viv used this speech in class, developing three different exercises depending on the level of his students. You'll find links to the different versions of the speech at the bottom of this page.
Advanced & Upper-intermediate student activity (video -MSNBC part 1 - time 15 mins. approx. - total activity time - 30 mins. approx.)
Students watched part one of the speech being able to stop at any time by pressing the spacebar on the computer keyboard, or by right-clicking once anywhere on the video. The teacher could then explain any difficult vocab. or pronunciation issues. By using the mouse to drag the progress bar at the bottom of the screen to the left, the more difficult parts could then be reviewed.
Intermediate students (video - Full speech with subtitles - until he starts talking about Japan - time 15 mins. approx. and MSNBC part 1 - time 15 mins. approx. - total activity time - 40 mins. approx.)
Firstly, we watched the first 15 minutes of the full speech with subtitles, but with the sound turned off. Students could read the contents of the speech and new vocab. could be dealt with. Students using the spacebar to pause during the subtitles if they went by too quickly. Then the MSNBC (part 1) was watched without any pauses.
Elementary and pre-intermediate students (video - Full speech with subtitles - until he starts talking about Japan - time 15 mins. approx. and MSNBC part 1 - time 15 mins. approx. - total activity time - 40 mins. approx.)
Watched the full speech (first 15 minutes) with simultaneous translation and subtitles. Then watched the speech on MSNBC with the teacher pausing every so often to check understanding. For lower levels, it's essential that the teacher makes it clear that it ISN'T important to understand every word and the activity may be split into two sessions so that the students can assimilate the original version with the simultaneous translation more easily.
Barak Obama's speech in Rio live on MSNBC (part 1 - class)
Barak Obama's speech in Rio with simultaneous translation and subtitles (Full speech)
Barak Obama's speech in Rio live on MSNBC (part 2 - homework)
Note! Unfortunately, there were some glitches with the satellite feed on the live broadcast (Viv watched it live, and this 'interference' occurred in real time). As a result of this, I recommend that teachers watch the full speech with subtitles before using this activity in class, so that they can fill in the 'gaps' if necessary. Alternatively, you can use Viv's Obama speech vocabulary worksheet with higher level students.
The Royal Wedding
This event generated worldwide publicity and was watched by an enormous number of people across the world. Any event which generates interest in British culture is a valid classroom activity and Viv used this 'Royal wedding highlights in 15 minutes' video in class with his students. He combined the video activity with a newspaper supplement from the Queen's Coronation (1953) which his mum had given him.
Royal Wedding highlights on Youtube
Additional Royal family video materials
British Monarchy web site